New York Red Bulls defenseman Kemar Lawrence has been called to Jamaica for their home and away World Cup qualifying matches against Nicaragua. But it's a bit of a strange situation for Jamaica. They claimed on their Facebook page that they have called in 27 players to camp, but only 23 will travel for the games. Either the team is unsure about who will be available for the final 23, or as head coach Winfried Schafer claims, it's one of the most significant matches in team history, so they'll essentially hold a tryout for the week leading up to the first game.
Surprisingly, not all of the names on the team come from larger global leagues like EPL and MLS. There are a few names on the squad that are from local teams like Ladale Richie and Cordell Simpson from Montego Bay United. Schafer may be testing the local talent pool to see how they stack up against their more known teammates.
Back to Kemar... Lawrence has 24 caps for the Reggae Boyz, scoring twice. He'll be turning 23 in the middle of this month, so that is impressive to have that many appearances at such a young age. Lawrence helped guide Jamaica past the USMNT in the semifinals of the Gold Cup this summer, where they would eventually drop the final 3-1 to Mexico.
Jamaica will host Nicaragua on September 4th, then finish with the away leg on September 8th for Round 3 of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. The aggregate winner will advance into a Fourth Round group with Panama, Costa Rica and the winner of the Haiti-Grenada matchup. If the results land where they should, it's going to be a very tough Group B involving Panama, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Haiti. All four teams performed well in 2015. Only two will advance to the Fifth Round, which is more commonly known just as, the Hex.
1. Joel Grant Exeter City
2. Simon Dawkins Derby County
3. Dwayne Miller Syrianska
4. Lance Laing FC Edmonton
5. Andre Blake Philadelphia Union
6. Michael Seaton Portland Timbers
7. Alvas Powell Portland Timbers
8. Adrian Mariappa Crystal Palace
9. Michael Hector Chelsea FC
10. Kemar Lawrence New York Red Bulls
11. Romeo Parkes A.D. Isidro Metapan
12. Darren Mattocks Vancouver Whitecaps
13. Andre Clennon VPS Vaasa
14. Demar Phillips Real Salt Lake
15. Je-Vaughn Watson FC Dallas
16. Rodolph Austin Unattached
17. DuWayne Kerr Sarpsborg
18. Lee Williamson Blackburn Rovers
19. Christopher Humphrey Preston North End
20. Sergio Campbell Columbus Crew SC
21. Hughan Gray VPS Vaasa
22. Upston Edwards Portmore United
23. Rosario Harriott Harbour View FC
24. Ladale Richie Montego Bay United
25. Cordell Simpson Montego Bay United
26. Giles Barnes Houston Dynamo
27. Deshorn Brown Valerenga